Great bartending books to add to your library

“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
― Solomon


stainless steel whiskey rocks in two drinking glasses next to a pile of reading books and a pair of reading glasses, view is from above

In our pursuit for creating the perfect cocktail, whipping up a mere G&T just doesn't ooze excitement or highlight your creativity potential. We can only learn so much by just drinking craft cocktails. Understanding a bit of the chemistry & mixology fundamentals, will help take your beverage building skills from a simple sip to an impressive party cocktail. A few good bartending guides are essential for completing the libraries of both a seasoned professional & amateur mixologist. Whether it be creativity inspiration, basic techniques or an explanation on the difference between a martini glass & a highball, these cocktail books are some of the best at expanding your knowledge, wisdom & skill in the big-wide world of cocktails.


Everything You Need To Know To Be A Master Bartender
by Dale DeGroff

The Craft of the Cocktail book, everything you need to know to be a master bartender by Dale DeGroff

An essential bartending guide for anyone who is serious about beverages. In order to achieve pro mixologist results, you need to learn pro mixologist techniques. The Craft Of The Cocktail is highly recommended by bartenders as a timeless & valuable book. You're bound to be familiar with many of the 500 cocktail recipes & also intrigued by loads of DeGroff originals. No doubt you'll find the perfect mix for every guest at your cocktail party with this bartending master-class of a book.

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The Consummate Guide To The Bartender's Craft
by Gary Regan

The Joy Of Mixology by Gary Regan

Commencing with a wonderfully informative history of cocktails & mixed drinks, The Joy of Mixology is a great educational read! Full of complex & fascinating bartending skills, this book is a must read for newbies to the bartending game who want to build a solid foundation of knowledge in technique & tools. It focuses on the bartender more-so than the cocktail, giving advice on service & etiquette. Regan is renowned for his unique & ingenious system for categorising & memorising drink recipes, plus putting your own spin on new drink inventions. A very humorous, entertaining & inspirational read for emerging bartenders.

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Elements Of Cocktail Technique
by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

The Bar Book by Jeffrey Morgenthaler

This is the bartending bible & unofficial training manual! As Morgenthaler explains, there are 3 elements contributing to a great cocktail - the recipe, it's ingredients & bartending technique. Generally speaking, the first 2 elements are pre-determined for us, so The Bar Book focuses on the final one & teaches us how to hone & master those technique skills. We follow along an in-depth production timeline, covering all the behind the scenes preparation techniques, like making syrups, infusions & garnishes. As you work your way through from start to finish, you'll feel like you're being taught by the best in the business. 

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Modern Classic Cocktails
by David Kaplan, Alex Day & Nick Fauchald

Death & Co by David Kaplan, Nick Fauchald & Alex Day

One huge collaboration of everything Kaplan, Day & Fauchald have learned throughout their entire careers. Described by it's authors as a "definitive guide to the contemporary craft cocktail movement" Death & Co is less of a beginner guide & more of an experienced mixologist's back pocket novel. It is derived from one of the world's most influential & lauded bars which opened it's doors in 2006, now a must-visit destination for serious cocktail enthusiasts. The book is filled with beautiful evocative photography, illustrative charts & infographics, showing how to create complicated cocktails from scratch using obscure spirits. Be prepared to be challenged & take your skills to the next level!

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The Plants That Create The World's Great Drinks
by Amy Stewart

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

If you're like many others who don't know the difference between distillation & fermentation, look no further for the answers. Or maybe you're curious as to where whiskey actually comes from. The Drunken Botanist provides a great foundation for knowledge of all things liquor, to help expand the product knowledge our guests kinda' expect us to have. Stewart details how over 300 different ingredients are made, touching on their flavour profiles, history, fun facts & recipes to use them in. Stewart delves into every spirit before it even was a spirit - sugar canes for rum, rice grains for sake, & agave of tequila for mezcal. This is the ultimate book for understanding the botanical makeup of spirits.

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The Art & Science Of The Perfect Cocktail
by Dave Arnold

Liquid Intelligence by Dave Arnold

Not sure if this is a mixology book or science experiment book! If you’re relatively new to the bartending & cocktail scene, maybe save this book for later. Liquid Intelligence is jam-packed with advanced mixology & nitty-gritty chemistry, from working with liquid nitrogen, to modifying the size & shape of ice cubes. It illustrates how both professionals & amateurs alike can nitro-muddle fresh basil, infuse vodka with coffee & even extract the sweetness from pepper. Arnold has created a revolutionary approach using science-based methods to maximise flavour & texture, for better-looking, better-tasting drinks. Satisfy your curiosity!

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by David Wondrich

Imbibe by David Wondrich

For those who like their cocktail & spirits history, you can't go past a book by the great beverage historian, David Wondrich. Imbibe contains definitive recipes for 120 punches, cocktails, sours, fizzes, toddies, slings, and other essential drinks. You'll learn about the origin of the first American cocktail, the Mint Julep & the unique American history behind it. To be fair, even if you don’t like history, you’ll still enjoy this bookthe colourful history of alcohol is fun!

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by Harry Craddock

The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock

Originally printed in 1930, The Savoy Cocktail Book details the cocktail creations & explorations of Harry Craddock, an American bartender who worked at London's Savoy Hotel. Craddock was credited with making the dry martini popular, as well as creating one of the most timeless cocktail books in history. Primarily it's a recipe book on classic cocktails, sort of an ‘A to Z’ resource. It’s a great starting point & reference guide for any bartender. For fans of the classics, this cocktail book is an essential library edition.



Cocktails With A Literary Twist
by Tim Federle

Tequila Mockingbird by Tim Federle

A cheers to the boozy book clubbers out there. There's just something about literature, cocktails & sinking down into a lounge chair by the fireplace. Perfect, right? Tequila Mockingbird is the world's bestselling cocktail book for the literary obsessed, including Amazon's number-one best-seller. Federle details the best combinations of bar bites to compliment your cocktail, plus drinking games to really get the party started. You've got to love some of the cleverly entertaining drink titles - "Romeo & Julep", "Are You There God? It's Me, Margarita" & "The Pitcher Of Dorian Grey Goose".

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Modern Classic Cocktails
by David Kaplan, Alex Day & Nick Fauchald

Cocktail Codex by David Kaplan, Alex Day & Nick Fauchald

Following on from the high-level of skill required in their earlier & best-selling book, Death & Co, this creative trio have stripped it right back to reveal their surprisingly simple approach to mastering cocktails. Cocktail Codex contains just 6 cocktails, yep you heard right6 easily identifiable & memorisable templates that encompass all cocktails. They are broken into 6 familiesOld Fashioned, Martini, Daiquiri, Sidecar, Whiskey Highball, & Flip. Learn the hows & whys of each & you'll understand why some cocktails work & others don't. The authors employ what they call a "root cocktails" approach, giving mixologists the tools to understand, execute & improvise both classics & originals.

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An Opinionated Guide To The Most Enduring Drinks In The Cocktail Canon
by Robert Simonson

3 Ingredient Cocktails by Robert Simonson

What do an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, & Daiquiri all have in common? Yes, they are some of the oldest & best cocktails in the world. But more importantly, they're all made with just 3 ingredients. The New York Times drink expert, Simonson, has compiled a 75 recipe collection of both classic & contemporary cocktails that prove more isn't always better. 3 Ingredient Cocktails contains gorgeous full-colour photography & a witty narrative. Tantalise your taste buds with a simple Bee's Knees cocktail or a Harvey Wallbanger, each just 3 ingredients. We shouldn't avoid our favourite sipping pleasures just because some are tricky & complex!

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